“Most people find mathematics confusing, at times. Nevertheless, you the reader may still get confused occasionally. Everyone who studies mathematics experiences mental blocks once in a while, something that just doesn’t seem to make sense. This is not a sign of stupidity! The question is, what should you do to overcome a mental block? Here are three possible approaches:
1. Forget it, it’s probably not important anyway.
2. Forget about understanding the point, just memorize the result.
3. Take the time to identify the difficulty, and then try to resolve it.
One of the reasons, I think, that many people “drop out” of math is that they start adopting strategies 1 or 2. Either of these strategies is a sure-fire recipe for eventual failure. In learning mathematics, any point of confusion must be eliminated as soon as it occurs. If not, everything that follows on from the point of confusion will also be confusing. Pretty soon the whole subject becomes incomprehensible – and then hateful.”
- Excerpt from the book Math Overboard by Colin ClarkThe Math Departments at Fitch High School, Cutler Middle School and West Side Middle School will strive to follow number 3 from the above quote in all of our teachings.
Pledge to our students and parents:
- “Achieve More, Believe more, Care more.” This is the motto at Fitch High School. Remember that it is in the opposite order. We must believe in and care about our students first. When they believe that they will take off and achieve more than you ever thought possible.
- We will teach to the Standards. The textbook is not the curriculum. The textbook is only a tool to help us teach our students the standards that we want them to understand and master.
- We will teach our students Concepts. They must understand how and why a particular idea works and fits in to the big picture. We will avoid teaching “recipes” and “procedures” in our quest to have our students Understand math.
- We will use Multiple Representations in an attempt to touch all learning styles. Whenever possible we will teach things numerically, graphically and algebraically.
- We will always try to teach things in Context. We will use a story and/or application to do this. Performance Assessments are a great way to accomplish this.
Common Core Math Shifts
- We will often use complex problems that require several skills used simultaneously to solve problems. We will avoid isolating concepts. Here again, Performance Assessments are useful.
SBACSBAC Nights For ParentsInformation about the Common Core of State Standards and the way we will assess the Common Core (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, aka SBAC) will be shared:SBAC Practice Test DirectionsSBAC Calculators
- Conceptual Learning
1. Yummy Math2. The Math Projects Journal3. Dan Meyer's Blog4. Graphing Stories5. Graph of the week6. Ultimate Math Lessons7. Common Core Sheets (SRBI material)8.Algebra 1 Performance Tasks by unit.9. Algebra 1 Performance Tasks by Unit (Scaffolding)10. SBAC CalculatorsFor Teachers:Groton Taught (Google Docs)MAP ReportsCt. Common Core (Mathematics)CCT RubricCCT Rubric (Scroll to page 2)
- Math Instruction Resources:
- System for Educator Evaluation and Development (SEED) The new teacher and administrator evaluation system.
1. Tenured Teacher: 2 Formal and 1 Informal observation.
2. Non-Tenured Teacher: 3 Formal and 1 Informal Observation.
1. October/November: Suggested Informal Observation complete.
2. November 15th: Meeting for Goal Setting/planning, set date for first observation.
3. By January 15th: First observation completed.
4. By February 15th: Mid-year check-in: Review goals and performance to date/discuss and set future observation dates.
5. By June 1st: Summatives completed.
a. SLO Rubric
d. Bloomboard (Observation and Evaluation) Program: https://apps.bloomboard.com/users/login
1. Users must make sure that they utilize Google Chrome to log in.SBACFitch High School Data TeamsData Team Process